News | September 15, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Latinos Overwhelmingly Support Establishing National Recreation Area, Protecting Public Lands And Addressing Climate Change

A Chesapeake Bay area survey of voters, commissioned by Hispanic Access Foundation and the Chesapeake Conservancy, and conducted by David Binder Research, finds that Latinos in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia strongly support increasing public access to the bay and helping secure funding for its restoration. In fact, 84 percent of Latino voters would support creating a Chesapeake National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service, which would unite new and existing parks in the Chesapeake Bay area, increase public access to the bay and help fund its restoration.

“Chesapeake Conservancy is thrilled – and not surprised – to see such strong support, especially from the Latino community, for the proposal to bring the Chesapeake Bay into the National Park System with the establishment of a Chesapeake National Recreation Area” said Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn. “We believe this is an opportunity to expand access to the Chesapeake Bay and to outdoor recreation for all communities, to celebrate our shared love for the region’s greatest natural resource and a national treasure and to inspire the next generation of conservation stewards.”

Even in the midst of economic challenges posed by the pandemic, an overwhelming majority of voters (93%) and Latino voters (94%) believe investments should still be made to protect its respective state’s land, water and wildlife.

“Latinos living by the Chesapeake Bay are continuing to show their strong support for climate action and concern in environmental issues affecting their local communities,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “Whether it's ensuring we protect clean water, air quality and wildlife habitats or providing opportunities for communities of color to visit and recreate on our national public lands and water, this poll provides a clear message for the state’s leaders.”

Latino voters near the Chesapeake Bay exhibited strong consensus behind proposals to conserve and protect the outdoors, as well as creating more equity in those efforts:

  • 92 percent of Latinos support setting a goal of conserving 30% of the country’s land and waters by the year 2030 (compared to 88 percent of total)
  • 83 percent of Latinos support gradually transitioning to 100% of the country’s energy being produced from clean, renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydropower over the next 10 to 15 years (compared to 72 percent of total)
  • 93 percent of Latinos support directing funding to ensure that lower-income people and communities of color have adequate access to parks and natural areas in the Chesapeake Bay (compared to 81 percent of total)
  • 90 percent of Latinos support creating new national parks, national monuments, and national wildlife refuges to protect historic sites or areas for outdoor recreation (compared to 89 percent of total)
  • 91 percent of Latinos support creating new marine sanctuaries to protect ocean waters and wildlife (compared to 92 percent of total)

Among Latino voters the effects of climate change on oceans and bays (76 percent), climate change (74 percent) and water pollution (71 percent) were viewed as the most serious issues Latinos are concerned about. About 48 percent agreed pollution is more likely to affect communities of color rather than other parts of the state, 35 percent think it is about the same as in other parts of the state and only 5 percent think it is less likely.

In addressing these issues, 67 percent of Latinos prefer their members of Congress prioritize ensuring we protect clean water, air quality, and wildlife habitats, while providing opportunities to visit and recreate on our national public lands compared to only 11 percent wanting the focus to be on producing more domestic energy by maximizing the amount of national public lands available for responsible oil and gas drilling and mining. Additionally, a combined 75 percent of Latinos think oil and gas development on public lands should be stopped or strictly limited while only 22 percent think that it should be expanded.

“It is a pleasure and inspiration to see such strong support among Latino voters for conservation, clean energy, parks, and measures to improve the health of our environment and our beloved Chesapeake Bay,” said former Maryland Governor and current Chair of the Maryland State Park Investment Commission Parris Glendening. “This research shows that there is support across all communities, including the Latino community, for policy actions and investments to address the environmental challenges we face. Maryland is now the most diverse state on the East Coast. I look forward to the collective efforts of our diverse populations in Maryland and the region to improve the quality of our environment and the quality of life for all of our people.”

The poll surveyed 750 registered voters (150 each in DE, MD, VA and DC) who voted in the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, the survey oversampled 150 Latino registered voters who met the same voting criteria as the base sample. The survey was conducted between July 22-27, 2021 and has a margin of error of ±4 percent for the base sample, ±8 percent for the oversample.

About David Binder Research:
For over 25 years, David Binder Research (DBR) has provided research and insight to political, government, and private sector clients. DBR’s strength lies in its pioneering use of new research technologies, hybrid qualitative and quantitative techniques, and its ability to devise innovative, customizable services that suit the specifications of each individual client. DBR enjoyed a long-term ongoing partnership with President Barack Obama’s White House, providing award-winning messaging work and conducting research on a number of different initiatives. Other clients run the gamut from small non-profits and boutique associations to large corporations and multi-year political campaigns.

About Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Access Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that improves the lives of Hispanics in the United States and promotes civic engagement by educating, motivating, and helping them to access trustworthy support systems. For more information, visit

About Chesapeake Conservancy
Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. We empower the conservation community with access to the latest data and technology. We partnered to help create 194 new public access sites and permanently protect some of the Bay’s special places like Werowocomoco, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, and Fort Monroe National Monument. For more information, visit

Source: Chesapeake Conservancy